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Veterans Day: Remembering celebrities who served

November 11, 2011 |  9:13 am

PacificIt's safe to say that every actor dreams of playing a hero at some point in his or her career -- defeat the bad guys and save the world. On this Veterans Day, we're remembering a handful of actors who have done just that in real life, fighting for their nation in some of the deadliest battles in history -- whether it's the beaches of Normandy in World War II, the jungles of Vietnam or the mountains in Afghanistan.

Among those who have earned the right to call themselves veterans are award-winning actor Charles Durning and comedian-producer Mel Brooks, who both fought in the Battle of the Bulge, the largest and bloodiest American battle of World War II. "Green Acres" star Eddie Albert rescued Marines during the Battle of Tarawa in the Pacific. Oliver Stone wrote and directed the Oscar-winning "Platoon," based on his experiences in the Vietnam War.

In honor of Veterans Day, we're shining the spotlight on just a few of those actors, writers and directors who served their country before they were famous in this slide show.

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-- Liesl Bradner

Photo: Jon Seda stars as Marine John Basilone in the 2010 HBO miniseries "The Pacific." Credit: David James.

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